Find out how to rely steps along with your Apple Watch


After being a devoted Fitbit wearer, I made a decision to change to an Apple Look ahead to its prettier show, superior design and additional options to proceed my step-counting methods.

Learn extra: Apple Watch vs. Fitbit Versa

However after spending a lot time with a Fitbit, I used to be disenchanted to find that the Exercise app deemphasizes step counts. I rapidly grew accustomed to checking my present step rely with a fast look at my Fitbit, and did not like that my Apple Watch made me dig and faucet and swipe to see the quantity I’ve come to care extra about than the time of day. I additionally had some questions in regards to the accuracy with which it was counting my steps.

Fortunately, I discovered a approach so as to add a step counter to my Apple Watch’s face and some methods to get a extra correct accounting of my each day travels. Let’s, um, step to it.

Enter your well being knowledge

In the event you’re new to step counting, the very first thing it’s essential to do is about up the Well being app with some details about your self. It makes use of your age, peak, weight and gender to estimate issues like energy burned and steps taken.

In your iPhone ($949 at Walmart), open the Watch app and on the My Watch tab, faucet Well being after which faucet Edit. Enter your data after which faucet Achieved.

The Well being app will share this data with the Exercise and Exercise apps in addition to third-party apps that assist it.

Allow location companies

Your Apple Watch makes use of GPS monitoring to get a extra correct studying of the distances you journey. The Apple Watch Sequence 1 ($249 at Walmart) lacks the GPS of the newer Apple Watch Sequence Three or the discontinued Sequence 2. It counts steps utilizing solely the accelerometer should you go for a stroll with out your iPhone, after which will sync with the Well being app once you return inside vary of your iPhone.


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Regardless of your Apple Watch mannequin, you may get higher, extra correct outcomes should you allow location companies for it. In your iPhone, go to Settings > Privateness > Location Companies and ensure that Location Companies is turned on. And when you’re right here, you may allow location companies for the 2 Watch-related objects on the lengthy checklist of apps. Close to the highest of the checklist, it’s best to see Apple Watch Faces and Apple Watch Exercise. Set each to Whereas Utilizing the App.

Allow health monitoring

Location companies are solely half the battle. Your Apple Watch and iPhone use an accelerometer that measures your complete physique motion to trace your exercise. You may need to let the accelerometer do its factor for occasions when GPS information is unavailable, whether or not you have got a Sequence 1 and are with out your iPhone or are strolling the place there’s poor protection. There are separate settings to your telephone and watch.


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In your iPhone, go to Settings > Privateness > Location Companies and scroll all the best way to the underside of the checklist of apps and faucet System Companies and ensure that Movement Calibration & Distance is turned on. Then go to Settings > Privateness > Movement & Health and ensure Health Monitoring is enabled together with Well being and any third-party apps that you just’re utilizing to trace your health.

Subsequent, open the Watch app in your iPhone and on the My Watch tab, faucet Privateness and ensure Health Monitoring is turned on.

apple-watch-fitness-tracking

Screenshot by Matt Elliott/CNET

Calibrate for elevated accuracy

With out its personal GPS, an Apple Watch Sequence 1 wants a bit assist to learn the way you stroll or run. You may calibrate the Watch by letting it examine knowledge from its accelerometer with GPS knowledge out of your iPhone so it will probably get a greater deal with in your stride size and arm actions. Here is how you can calibrate it:

  • Put in your Apple Watch and head exterior, ideally to a flat, open space below clear skies (so that you get good GPS reception).
  • Convey alongside your iPhone and carry it in your hand or put on it in an armband or in your waist.
  • Open the Exercise app in your Apple Watch, faucet Outside Stroll or Outside Run, and set a time aim of 20 minutes.
  • Stroll or run at your regular tempo for 20 minutes.

Add step counter to look at face

After getting my Apple Watch Sequence 1 finely tuned to rely my steps, I used to be dismayed to seek out that I could not add a step counter to any of the watch faces. Some watch faces let me add information from the Exercise app, however solely energy burned, train minutes or hours standing. After a bit digging, I discovered an app that permit me add my present steps to my watch face so it is solely a look away, similar to my Fitbit.

The app is Pedometer++ and it is free. It was the one app of the handful of health trackers I attempted that included complication integration — that’s, including data to the watch face itself.

First, nonetheless, you may must grant it permission to make use of your Apple gadgets to rely your steps. In your iPhone, open the Well being app, faucet the Sources tab, faucet Pedometer (it drops the ++ on the iPhone for some cause) and faucet Flip All Classes On.

So as to add a step counter complication, Drive Contact your watch face to name up the gallery of faces and choose one that permits you to customise it. Faucet the Customise button to edit the issues displayed in your watch and use the digital crown to scroll by way of the choices till you discover Pedometer++. I discovered that the X-Giant watch face provided the most important, boldest step counter. 

Now, I’ve received my Apple Watch arrange so it precisely counts my steps and shows my present rely on the watch face. And with the X-Giant watch face, particularly, the quantity is less complicated to learn than the tiny, skinny font on my Fitbit Cost 2. The one draw back is that it updates much less incessantly than my Fitbit, which might be irritating to a compulsive step counter. Or perhaps it is a good factor — it’s going to power me to loosen up and never verify my step rely so incessantly.

$649

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